For you college hoops fans out there, the Maui Invitational bracket has been released. Notre Dame and Indiana are squaring off in the first round. I have to say that I am pretty excited for that one, and it will be a great start to Thanksgiving week. It makes me a little nervous to see that Indiana name, but they are going to really struggle next year. Who is left in that program?? Crean will build them up in the next few years, but it should be an easy win for the Irish this year.
It looks like we will have to go through Indiana, Texas, and North Carolina to win the tournament, so it could be a daunting task. If we make the final, that 10 pm championship game on the night before Thanksgiving on ESPN could be a doozie between Notre Dame and North Carolina.
Maui is going to set the tone for ND this year. If we perform well in this tournament, it could set up a great season. At the very least, a great performance by the Irish in Maui could take some of the sting out of a potentially bad performance a few days later at the LA Colisseum against the USC Trojans.
Here is further information on the Maui Invitational:
Dates: Nov. 24-26
Site: Lahaina Civic Center, Maui, Hawaii
Official Bracket (last season's record; home team listed second):
Monday, Nov. 24:
Quarterfinal #1: Saint Joe's* (21-13) vs. Texas* (31-7), 3 p.m. ET, ESPN2
Quarterfinal #2: Indiana* (25-8) vs. Notre Dame* (25-8), 5 p.m. ET, ESPN2
Quarterfinal #3: North Carolina* (36-3) vs. Chaminade% (21-8), 9:30 p.m. ET, ESPNU
Quarterfinal #4: Oregon* (18-14) vs. Alabama (17-16), 11:59 p.m. ET, ESPN2
Tuesday, Nov. 25:
Consolation #1: 1:30 p.m. ET, ESPNU
Consolation #2: 4 p.m. ET, ESPN2
Semifinal #1: 7 p.m. ET, ESPN
Semifinal #2: 9 p.m. ET, ESPN
Wednesday, Nov. 26:
Fifth-place game: 2 p.m. ET, ESPN2
Third-place game: 4 p.m. ET, ESPN2
Seventh-place game: 7 p.m. ET, ESPNU
Championship: 10 p.m. ET, ESPN
In other ND news, here's a good blog update from Andy Katz on ND hoops and our upcoming trip to Ireland.
Finally, there's also a good blog update from Katz on Travis Ford's first few months at Oklahoma State. Mark it down, Travis Ford is going to do big things at Oklahoma State. They are a major sleeper in the Big 12 this year. He's a Pitino disciple and loves to get up and down the floor, so look out for the Cowboys.